KATIE FLANAGAN: I’m Katie Flanagan. I am Corporate Segment Marketing Manager at Mimeo, which is an on-demand content distribution platform. I got here from a background in creative writing and conference production that turned into a career in marketing.
B2BNXT: What differentiates you from the competition?
KATIE FLANAGAN: It’s interesting because our competition can be any number of things depending on the department that we’re talking to. A lot of people who are in Training and Development are running out to FedEx or another local copy shop, and they’re waiting in line, and they have a lot of logistics issues getting their print done. But because they don’t have other resources, that’s just what they feel they have to do. So for that, when you’re printing with a local copy shop, Mimeo really simplifies the process, and makes it really easy to print and ship directly to wherever you need your content. Then for larger departments that might have a relationship with a vendor, what Mimeo really helps with is that we’re not just print. We have all sorts of different solutions including digital, swag, displays, and banners. We’re one concierge that you come to with your projects, and we get it done for you.
B2BNXT: What is a key lesson from this past year for B2B growth?
KATIE FLANAGAN: One of the things I learned in the last year is how really important is to be aligned with Sales. We haven’t necessarily changed our marketing tactics, but we have changed how we’re organized, and how we communicate with Sales, and just literally we sit next to them now. I’ve made a big focus on having a better partnership with the Sales leaders and with the Sales people. It has had this huge impact on seeing them interact with our leads, and be more excited about the leads that we provide them, and then that helps lead to conversion.
B2BNXT: What’s a common mistake companies make?
KATIE FLANAGAN: I think a lot of companies and B2B marketers are focused on, “What is our product,” and “What expertise do we have to bring to the table?” Where I’ve seen a lot of success reaching out to the community and saying, “We have a lot of customers that are in learning and development. We want to keep talking to learning and development. Who can we recruit from our customer base to talk about the things that learning and development people care about?” Just because we’re starting the conversation, we’re a part of it, and that helps us be a part of capturing information about them, and being able to start conversations, and just be a valued partner in the field. We’ve been doing our webinars series for three years. It’s really fun now because I’m hearing, when I go to conferences, people recognize us because of our webinars. I’m hearing from Sales that people will pick up the phone, and they might not know who Mimeo is, but they know that we do webinars, and that we’re a community that they can go to.
B2BNXT: Why did you decide to focus on webinars?
KATIE FLANAGAN: I came from a conference producer background, so that was just natural to me. Come up with a topic, find someone to speak on it, and produce that. I think it was instigated by webinars just being a known marketing channel to start conversations. My idea came after conversations about like, “Well, if we just do webinars about our product, is that really going to be engaging?” I think what we have seen is that by engaging on the topics that people are thinking about, and what they really care about … Like no one really cares how to print a spiral-bound notebook, and we don’t want them to care about how you print a spiral-bound notebook.
We just want them to come to us when they need to print a spiral-bound notebook. So talking on the topics that they care about helps us stay front of mind. Last month we did a webinar on better training handouts, and how that increases the impact of your training. Next month we have one on tips for joining a new training team. Whether you are a manager about to have someone new, or if you’re changing roles yourself, we’ve done things on measuring training. We’ve done things on the neuroscience behind training. We’ve done probably 30 topics at this point, but that’s a little taste of it.
B2BNXT: What ‘s an upcoming trend for B2B growth?
KATIE FLANAGAN: I was just at a conference, B2BMX. One of the things that I got really excited about, and I did hear in several different sessions, was this focus on customer marketing. Because I think we in marketing tend to get really focused on like, “How do we get net new leads, and drive them down the funnel?” But it is also a business reality that keeping customers is way cheaper than getting new customers. So having a focus on marketing to your customers, and developing programs that are valuable to your customers, and help both of you find ways to expand your partnership, is something that we’re going to focus on. I also think it is something that the industry in general is going to focus on. We have a whole team that is focused on those relationships. Well, that got established in the last year, so it’s really interesting to be able to rely on that team and say, “What are your customers facing? What are the trends that you’re hearing that we can use for our campaigns?”
One of the things that we do is, we continuously innovate and expand on our product line. We started out as print. We’ve now expanded. We have swag, and banners, and all of that. Doing campaigns around highlighting awareness around that, but not just like, “Hey. Now we do swag.” We have a whole campaign going this year where we’re targeting our customers who are in the restaurant business. We know that they’re doing promotions, and that sort, and so we send them every month, like in the next couple of months, “Here are some of the national holidays, like National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, or National Hot Dog Day. Here’s some swag you might want, and here’s a template that you can use for a poster. All you have to do is add your logo, and print it.”
B2BNXT: Do you have a favorite business book?
KATIE FLANAGAN: I recently read a memoir called Becoming Ginger Rogers, by Patricia Tanaka. Patricia ran her own PR company. She might still run it. She might be retired. I’m not sure. It’s talks about how she was at a point in her career where she had success, but she was really feeling burned out. She started taking ballroom dance classes. That became a huge passion of hers, and so she translates the lessons that she learned on the dance floor into lessons for business. It’s not just her as a professional, it’s also her as a business leader making decisions, as a business they went through a whole merger, so making business decisions, and then just as a person. How she grew by doing ballroom dancing. I love dancing, so it really spoke to me.